Research Careers at MPI-SWS

The institute offers opportunities for research careers at all levels

Current openings for faculty positions, post-doctoral positions, and internships are listed below.

The institute offers both short- and long-term visiting appointments for qualified scholars who wish to spend time at the institute. Interested individuals should contact the faculty member concerned.

Tenure-track faculty openings

Applications are invited for tenure-track faculty positions in all areas related to the theory and practice of software systems, including security and privacy, embedded and mobile systems, distributed and parallel systems, computational social science, legal, economic, and social aspects of computing, NLP, machine learning, information and knowledge management, programming languages, algorithms and logic, and verification.

A doctoral degree in computer science or related areas and an outstanding research record are required. Successful candidates are expected to build a team and pursue a highly visible research agenda, both independently and in collaboration with other groups.

MPI-SWS, founded in 2005, is part of a network of over 80 Max Planck Institutes, Germany’s premier basic research facilities. MPIs have an established record of world-class, foundational research in the sciences, technology, and the humanities. The institute offers a unique environment that combines the best aspects of a university department and a research laboratory: Faculty enjoy academic freedom, receive institutional funding and attract additional third-party funds to build and lead a team of graduate students and post-docs; they supervise doctoral theses, and have the opportunity to teach graduate and undergraduate courses. The institute offers outstanding technical infrastructure and administrative support, as well as internationally competitive compensation.

The institute is located in Kaiserslautern and Saarbruecken, in the tri-border area of Germany, France and Luxembourg. We maintain an international and diverse work environment and seek applications from outstanding researchers worldwide. The working language is English; knowledge of the German language is not required for a successful career at the institute.

Qualified candidates should apply at the secure application form ( To receive full consideration, applications should be received by December 16, 2016.

The institute is committed to increasing the representation of minorities, women and individuals with physical disabilities in Computer Science. We particularly encourage such individuals to apply. The initial tenure-track appointment is for five years; it can be extended to seven years based on a midterm evaluation in the fourth year. A permanent contract can be awarded upon a successful tenure evaluation in the sixth year.

Postdoctoral positions

The Max Planck Institute for Software Systems (MPI-SWS) has multiple openings for Postdoctoral Fellows in the areas of programming languages & verification, distributed & mobile systems, real-time & embedded systems, security & privacy, natural language processing, and social computing.

Postdoctoral Fellows have the opportunity to work with MPI-SWS faculty on existing lines of research, as well as develop their own research agenda under MPI-SWS faculty supervision. Former Postdoctoral Fellows have moved on to take permanent position at top universities and research laboratories worldwide, including Yale, Telecom ParisTech, Microsoft Research and INRIA.

MPI-SWS is a publicly funded academic research institution focused on problems of fundamental importance in the broad area of software systems. The institute currently has 11 faculty and about 45 doctoral and postdoctoral researchers, and continues to grow. MPI-SWS is located in Kaiserslautern and Saarbruecken, Germany, in the tri-border area of Germany, France, and Luxembourg. The area offers a high standard of living, beautiful surroundings, and easy access to major metropolitan areas in central Europe.

The institute is committed to increasing the representation of minorities, women and individuals with physical disabilities in computer science. We particularly encourage such individuals to apply.


Internships provide an opportunity for exceptionally well-qualified undergraduate and graduate students to take part in research projects at the MPI for Software Systems. Interns are expected to tackle new and challenging research problems in close collaboration with graduate students and faculty at the institute. Successful internships often result in coauthored publications at top academic conferences.

Only a limited number of internship positions are available each year, and admissions are very competitive. Candidates are selected based on their academic achievements (e.g., honors, course grades, prior project experience) as well as their interest and motivation in pursuing original research in different areas of software systems. Selection process might also involve a phone interview with promising candidates.

Selected applicants receive monthly stipends during their stay. They are provided free housing by the institute, and are reimbursed for their travel expenses to the institute.

Our internships are usually 12 to 14 weeks long. Longer internships are possible in some cases. We welcome interns round the year, but most of our interns prefer the summer months (May-August).

Most common questions about our internship program are answered in the FAQ.

Interested candidates can apply by clicking the Apply button below. The review of applications for Summer 2017 (starting dates May - August) will begin on January 31, 2017. Accepted applicants will be notified by the end of April. Applicants interested in starting at other times in the year should apply at least four months before their intended starting date.

Questions? Before contacting us, please read the FAQ. Your question may already be answered there. If not, feel free to contact us at or +49 631 9303-6050.